Botanic Gardens Opening by Ian Wallman

The University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum have both reopened to the public following their temporary closure due to the Covid crisis.

Oxford Botanic Garden in the city centre, is the oldest and most popular in the UK and much-loved by Oxford residents. Established in 1621, it will celebrate its 400th anniversary next year, boasts over 5,000 different types of plant and welcomed more than 175,000 visitors last year.

“Thanks to the hard work of our staff over the last few months, both sites are looking glorious so I would encourage visitors to come to enjoy the experience”

The Arboretum in Nuneham Courtney, has the best collection of trees in Oxfordshire within 130 acres. Visitors can discover trees from around the world there, including magnificent giant redwoods, growing alongside tranquil British woodland and open meadows.

The Garden was officially reopened this week by Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, who said: “The Garden and Arboretum are two of Oxford’s most treasured resources contributing to research, education, conservation and inspiration, as well as the simple pleasure of walking through the beautiful grounds.

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford opening Botanic Gardens. pic by Ian Wallman

“It has never been more important to our mental well-being to have a quiet space to relax, to reflect, and to enjoy the positive effects of nature, so I am delighted to reopen the sites,” she adds.

Both sites are now welcoming visitors with a new pre-booking system, social distancing and special measures in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. 

Professor Simon Hiscock, Director of the Botanic Garden and Arboretum said: “We are thrilled to welcome visitors back to the Botanic Garden and Arboretum.

“Thanks to the hard work of our staff over the last few months, both sites are looking glorious so I would encourage visitors to come to enjoy the experience as we enter summer. Measures are in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors and we ask that all visitors respect the social distancing guidance.”

At the Botanic Garden, social distancing markings and signage are present across the sites and hand sanitiser is available upon entry and exit.

In the interest of public safety, the shop, toilet facilities, Glasshouses and Herbarium Room at the Botanic Garden will not be open, but the Garden itself will be fully accessible.

At the Arboretum social distancing markings and signage are also in place and the toilets and shop will also remain closed. 

To allow for social distancing and prevent over-crowding, entry for both sites is now by pre-booked timed slots only, which can only be bought online in advance.

Entry is every 30 minutes for a visit of up to two hours. Without a pre-booked time slot visitors will not be able to enter the Botanic Garden or the Arboretum. Exceptions to this include Friends, Annual Pass holders, University of Oxford or Oxford Brookes University students or staff members, registered disabled and carers.

Those who are unable to visit the Garden and Arboretum at the moment can enjoy stories and images from the collections, from home, on the OBGA website at: https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/

Further guidance on visiting is available at: https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/visiting-during-coronavirus

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